Alfred Stepan, 22 July 1936 - 27 September 2017 (Memoirs XVIII)

Archie Brown, Emeritus Professor of Politics, has published a memoir of Alfred Stepan.

Prof Stepan was Gladstone Professor of Government here at Oxford from 1996 to 1999. His research in comparative politics changed how we think about the topic.

Abstract

A fine boxer in his youth; an active duty officer in the US Marine Corps who spent the 1962 missile crisis at sea, 20 miles off the Cuban coast, in readiness to invade the island; a Marine officer in Vietnam; a special correspondent of The Economist who predicted the Brazilian military coup of March 1964; a Chicago native urged by the city’s machine politicians to take over the seat of a retiring Democratic Congressman (with hints of a Senate opening to come); a professor who had a six-hour meeting with Fidel Castro in Havana (and a box of Cuban cigars from the revolutionary leader); the holder of prestigious chairs and deanships at Yale, Columbia and Oxford; the first President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest; Chairman of the Board of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation – this would sound like an implausible combination for a character in a novel. Alfred Stepan, best known for his contributions to the comparative study of politics, did all these things and more.

Professor Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics